Storytelling, the language art that pre-dates written history, is now served by two organizations, both headquartered in Jonesborough, Tennessee where the American storytelling revival was jump-started by the first National Storytelling Festival in 1973. The success of that first festival led to the founding of the National Association for the Preservation and Perpetuation of Storytelling (NAPPS), which as a result of explosive growth in the '80's, changed its name to The National Storytelling Association (NSA). In 1998, NSA, in an effort to better serve the needs of the diverse storytelling community, divided into two separate organizations, National Storytelling Network (NSN) and International Storytelling Center (ISC).
Both organizations are dedicated to advancing the art of storytelling - as a performing art, teaching aid, and cultural transformation process, but, the National Storytelling Network and Storytelling Foundation International have taken different approaches to accomplishing that mission. Both SFI and NSN jointly own and are funded by revenue from the annual National Storytelling Festival. As a membership organization, NSN receives additional funding support from dues, National Storytelling Conference revenue, sponsorships and gifts. ISC has no members, and receives its funding by providing educational and training services, as well as receiving grants and donations.
NSN is a member driven organization, with a Board of Directors elected by members from six regions across America. It offers direct services, publications and educational opportunities to several thousand individuals, local storytelling guilds and associations. These services are designed to improve the quality of storytelling at all levels - in entertainment venues, in classrooms and libraries, and wherever storytelling can make a contribution to quality of life. To facilitate that process, NSN sponsors the National Storytelling Conference in cooperation with local or regional members at a different location each year. The Conference provides educational workshops, demonstration programs and the National Storytelling Awards ceremony that recognizes storytelling excellence, leadership and service across the country.
Conference Dates & Sites
*Officers change January 1st each year
Board of Directors